What is the ROI of Branded Content?

branded contentA question that keeps marketers busy. How do you know if your branded content results in conversions? Or to put it even more simple: how do you know if the money you spend on branded content is worth it?

Part of the allure of branded content is that when people share it in social media or it’s hosted on websites, marketers aren’t paying media companies to distribute it. That sounds as a low-cost way for marketers to advertise. But a lot of money is actually put in branded content. An article of AdvertisingAge said a survey from Gartner found marketers now spend almost as much on content creation and management as they do on paid online display.  A fact that makes the question of the return of investment of branded content even more urgent.

That’s why efforts to measure and improve ROI for content are on the rise. An example of a measuring system that is now used by some companies, is an in-house system. It draws on Google Analytics to find how well content reaches people broadly, new site visitors specifically, and how well it generates engagement, based on such factors as topics, authors and language.

For a right measurement of ROI, CEO of Marketing Evolution Rex Briggs said the first step is just measuring cost per “impact,” or person reached. To bring this message to marketers, he did an excersise at a panel in Sweden. By analyzing data of more than hundred marketers, he found costs per impact ranged from 50¢ to $50. A wide range that tells us that some investments on branded content are pretty high. Marketers were surprised as well, according to this quote of Rex Briggs: “I feel like a doctor telling them they’ve got cancer when they see this ROI. You see people turn white as a sheet, especially if they’re sitting next to their boss. But it’s one of those calculations you have to do.”

How do you measure your ROI of branded content? Or if you don’t, what could be future solutions for measuring this new way of advertising?

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